Russian e-commerce platform Wildberries opens to Chinese sellers

Wildberries, a Russian e-commerce giant founded in 2004, initially focused on selling Otto and Quelle women’s clothing, but now covers more than 40,000 items in clothing, footwear, electronics, food, household products, beauty and skin care, etc. brand, showing its amazing expansion speed and diversification strategy. In two decades, Wildberries has not only become the largest online retailer in Russia, but has also emerged on the global e-commerce stage.

According to Viacheslav Savin, head of Wildberries’ cross-border business, Wildberries’ GMV reached US$25.8 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 98%. This figure not only reflects the rapid growth of its business, but also highlights its position in the Russian e-commerce market. leadership. What’s even more impressive is that the platform’s average daily order volume has reached an astonishing 10 million orders, and the number of active sellers has also reached 1 million. These figures indicate Wildberries’ strong momentum in the e-commerce field.

However, facing strong competition from Ozon, another Russian e-commerce giant, Wildberries began to feel the pressure. According to a report released by Tinkoffe Commerce, in the first quarter of 2023, Wildberries’ share of active sellers dropped to 52% from 64% for the whole year, while Ozon’s seller proportion increased from 23% to 34%. This change not only made Wildberries aware of the seriousness of competition, but also prompted it to accelerate its layout in the global market, especially the Chinese market.

Last August, Wildberries moved quickly to register its brand in China and cover all 45 categories of the International Classification of Goods and Services. In order to accelerate its expansion in the Chinese market, Wildberries has also conducted intensive negotiations with potential partners. This series of actions shows Wildberries’ emphasis and determination on the Chinese market.

So why is Wildberries so eager to enter China? The reason behind this, in addition to the competitive pressure with Ozon, is also the huge influence of Chinese cross-border sellers in the e-commerce field. Taking Ozon as an example, since it started recruiting Chinese sellers in 2021, by 2022, there will be more than 10,000 Chinese merchants registered on the platform. These Chinese sellers not only bring a rich product selection to Ozon, but also contribute 90% of the products on Ozon Global. In the first quarter of 2023, Ozon Global’s sales increased by an astonishing 400% year-on-year, reaching 3 billion yuan. In order to attract more Chinese sellers, Ozon has also set the ambitious goal of attracting 100,000 Chinese sellers by 2024 and expanding the transaction volume of Chinese goods by 10 times.

Faced with the strong momentum of Ozon and the huge potential of Chinese sellers, Wildberries is naturally not to be outdone. In order to speed up the invitation of Chinese sellers, Wildberries has formulated a series of preferential investment policies. Although there is no monthly rent and VAT, the commission can be reduced to as low as 4%, and it also provides traffic tilt and other support to settled sellers, showing its sincerity and determination for the Chinese market.

In the field of cross-border e-commerce, logistics has always been a headache. However, Wildberries has a strong advantage in this area. The company has more than 3 million square meters of overseas warehouse logistics support, and recently launched a direct shipping function from China, providing great convenience for cross-border merchants. Merchants only need to send the goods to Wildberries’ delivery point in China or Hong Kong, and the subsequent transportation and customs clearance will be taken care of by the platform, which undoubtedly greatly reduces the merchant’s operating costs and risks.

Wildberries’ comprehensive logistics system can be said to be the core of its success. Due to the vast territory of Russia, infrastructure is difficult to cover, and the development of the logistics industry is limited. In order to circumvent the problems of Russia’s state-run postal network, Wildberries built its own logistics system in the early years and became the first platform in Russia to provide nationwide free express delivery services. Currently, Wildberries has established 35,000 pick-up points across Russia, which has greatly shortened the time to deliver orders to consumers. For example, it has been shortened to 15 hours in the North Caucasus and 14 hours in Khanty-Mansiysk.

In order to further promote development in the Chinese market, Wildberries will hold China’s first exchange forum in Ningbo on April 9. Ningbo is a city backed by the world’s largest port – Ningbo Zhoushan Port. Countless goods go out of the country from here every day. In 2023, Ningbo’s annual cross-border e-commerce transaction volume will reach 230.2 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 14.8%, ranking third among the top 10 cross-border e-commerce cities in China, second only to Shenzhen and Shanghai. This forum will not only comprehensively introduce Wildberries’ investment policies in China, but also mark the official start of Wildberries’ voyage in the Chinese market.